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Sackner Archive Exhibition: Home

This guide is a collection of resources related to the Sackner Archive exhibition in the Main Library Gallery. (Fall 2020.)
Sackner Archive Exhibit

Resources for Gallery Visitors


In June 2019, the University of Iowa announced that the University Libraries had been chosen as the new home of the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the most comprehensive such collection in the world. To celebrate the opening of this important collection to the public and to introduce Iowans and the University community to the vast and impressive range of resources held in the Sackner Archive, from artists’ books to reference works to large-scale works of visual poetry, an inaugural exhibition featuring a few highlights from the collection is being held in the Main Library Gallery from August 24 – December 11, 2020.

Besides demonstrating the remarkable artistry and diversity of some of the most significant poet-artists of the past hundred years, the exhibition will bring to light some of the many ways the new collection can support teaching and research at the University.

Sackner Archive was drawn almost entirely from the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections. We recognize and appreciate the decades of constant, careful work that Ruth and Marvin put into curating this collection for their "Home Sweet Museum." The University of Iowa Libraries remains honored to have been chosen as its new "Home Sweet Library."

Exhibit Curation: Timothy Shipe, Peter Balestrieri, Margaret Gamm




  • Curator Highlights from Sackner Archive:
    A small virtual selection of items from the exhibition, including photographs, curator commentary, and additional details.
  • Sackner Archive Exhibition Guide
    Accessible PDF document. The complete guide to the exhibition, including curators' statements; an introduction; defining concrete and visual poetry; providing background and detail for poets, movements, and works represented in the exhibition; a comprehensive item list; and complete exhibition credits.
  • Virtual Gallery Tour of Sackner Archive
    A complete interactive virtual tour of the Main Library Gallery exhibition.



University of Iowa Libraries Conservator Giselle Simón demonstrates the movement, sound, and other elements of select items from the Sackner Archive exhibition:

Exhibition co-curator Timothy Shipe shares information about poet artist Kurt Schwitters and Merz art in this short video:

Exhibition co-curator Peter Balestrieri shares information about German poet artist Hanne Darboven in this short video:

Exhibition co-curator Margaret Gamm gives insight about correspondence between Marvin and Ruth Sackner and the artists in this short video :



Concrete! is a film about Ruth and Marvin Sackner produced and directed by their daughter, Sara Sackner. The film is shown in the Main Library Gallery exhibition and also available to view here.


Documentary Trailer

Documentary Film







Exhibition and Engagement Coordinator, Main Library Gallery

Profile Photo
Sara Pinkham
Main Library Gallery
(319) 467-1805